The Art of Contract Mobilisation

For many organisations, particularly those supplying the public sector, the notice of an award being made to your organisation is a feeling of joy and great relief. Often, suppliers have spent many hours preparing a compelling bid which stands out to those assessing the tender – often writing their various plans and submissions many weeks or even months before the final decision is made. But then comes the contract mobilisation.

For many, mobilisation is something you only think about if and when you win, so when you do win, the feeling of elation sometimes turns to “how are we going to deliver this!”?

Winning is just the first step to a successful and profitable relationship

For the output of a tender to work out, whether it is to supply products or a service, it requires a careful approach to mobilising all of the plans and promises you have made to your client in the tender – within budget and in line with your commercial expectations.

Of course, this level of planning should have been done at the point of tender and formed part of your commercial, quality and expectations of the bid you’ve gone for. But that doesn’t always mean that what you planned and wrote often many months ago, will transpire into an objective and successful mobilisation.

Things go wrong, the bigger the contract mobilisation, the more problems will come up

Any organisation that has mobilised a service contract will know that even with the most comprehensive planning at the bid stage, things will always come up, things will change, and things will not be as you expected them to be.

Solving these issues promptly, whilst preserving the milestones and timescales committed to in the bid, requires careful strategy to balance the cost/output of resources and outcomes to meet contractual obligations, and provide a quality service to the client – whilst managing the budget and commercial considerations.

Mobilisation sets the tone

Without question, the experience a client has in the mobilisation/initiation phase of any service sets the tone of the relationship between the supplier and the client.

Equally, the commercial success of any service is often determined based on the mobilisation phase as this will be critical for determining quality, implementation of service design and bringing the spreadsheet to life… Most of the time, providers realise it is harder than it seemed in the spreadsheet.

Key Steps in Planning a Contract Mobilisation

  1. Review Contract Terms and Conditions: Thoroughly review the contract documents to understand the specific requirements, deliverables, timelines, and responsibilities of both parties. This will provide a clear framework for the mobilisation activities.
  2. Form a Mobilisation Team: Establish a dedicated team responsible for overseeing the mobilisation process. This team should comprise individuals with expertise in project management, procurement, compliance, and the specific services or goods covered by the contract.
  3. Analyse Stakeholder Requirements: Identify and engage key stakeholders from both the buyer’s and supplier’s organisations. Gather their expectations, concerns, and needs to ensure alignment and minimise potential issues during mobilisation.
  4. Develop a Mobilisation Plan: Create a detailed mobilisation plan that outlines all tasks, milestones, responsibilities, and timelines. The plan should be specific, actionable, and achievable within the allocated timeframe.
  5. Conduct Pre-Mobilisation Meetings: Organise meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the mobilisation plan, address questions, and obtain approvals. This will foster collaboration and minimise misunderstandings.
  6. Establish Communication Channels: Set up clear and effective communication channels between the buyer and supplier teams throughout the mobilisation phase. Regular updates, status reports, and meetings will maintain transparency and alignment.
  7. Secure Resources and Permissions: Ensure the necessary resources, equipment, licenses, and permits are secured to support the contract execution. Obtain appropriate approvals from relevant authorities as required.
  8. Identify and Address Risks: Assess potential risks that could impact the mobilisation process, such as delays, resource constraints, or changes in regulations. Develop mitigation strategies to address these risks proactively.
  9. Track and Monitor Progress: Regularly monitor the progress of mobilisation activities against the plan. Identify any deviations or challenges and take corrective actions promptly to maintain on-schedule delivery.

Additional Considerations for Contract Mobilisation

  • Onboarding of Personnel: If the contract involves deploying personnel, ensure a smooth onboarding process, including orientation, training, and access to necessary information and systems.
  • Procurement of Goods and Materials: If the contract involves procurement of goods and materials, establish procurement procedures, timelines, and quality assurance measures.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: If the contract interfaces with existing systems or processes, ensure compatibility and data exchange protocols are established.
  • Planning for Contract Execution: Begin planning for the execution phase of the contract, including resource allocation, project scheduling, and risk management.
CJPI Insights

This post has been published by the CJPI Insights Editorial Team, compiling the best insights and research from our experts.

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